Saturday, June 30, 2012

Two Poems by Keleigh Ferguson

When Wyatt Left

Wyatt returned home alone. He had been spotted the night before, pressed against the neighbor’s window, and then unexpectedly inside. When starfish separate from the sea they die. When Wyatt left I submerged myself in nighttime trees, practiced parakeet, and learned to sway.

Stone Flesh

I woke on a bed of nails again
Shuffling years

Through spider walks and stoic canals
Broken down docks and barnacles
Thunderstorms and fog

Days like this remind me of
Trees filled with Mangos
Chartreuse and ruby red

And how we would wait
For their fruit to drop

Like stars or water balloons
Or the last firecracker

Keleigh Ferguson is a native of southern Florida. She currently resides is California where she teaches English and writing to middle and high school students.

Friday, June 29, 2012

A Poem by Laurie Kolp

ocean diamonds,
a glassy peaceful sheen.
the heavens, alive
with eyes twinkling.
the (s(u)n)
an incandescent mirror,
its outward brilliance
an inner warmth
as deep as the sea.
Laurie Kolp strives to be more like her three children, innocent and pure; or perhaps her two dogs, faithful and unconditional. The older she gets, the younger she feels as her path narrows and her experience grows. Her hand is reaching out to you. Why don’t you join her? and

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Two Poems by Janet Rice Carnahan

Pure heart beating,
In our cells,
Already knows,
Deepest call,
Of the eternal constant,
Pulsating on,
Ebbing flow,
Of life,
Present in all its glory,
Purity of story,
An endless force,
One cannot help but feel,
Thereby always knowing,
Primordial answers,
To why we are here,
And further,
Where we will return,
When time here,
Begins to fade,
Like a deeply hummed song,
On its final long winded note,
As if cradled by the tides of love,
Never outside the carriage,
Of all things seen and unseen,
Just known,
Into our depths,
Like the ever constant sea,
Of delightful, mysterious . . .
Delicious change!
Our souls call to the sea,
Not to view,
What we are not,
Rather to align,
With what we are,
To the core,
Life’s very survival!
Our body’s containment of water,
Reminding our minds,
To stay fluid and flexible,
Like any form of water must,
To avoid stagnation,
Not to dry out,
Or be swallowed whole,
Ceasing its place here,
Perishing the very point,
Of its very existence,
Ebbing away,
Into some sad cave,
Of dried remains,
Not to be seen,
Heard from,
Or known again!
Water within us and surrounding us,
Simply cannot die,
For if it does,
We would most certainly,
Drain away,
Go right out with it,
Into a dusty demise,
Leaving no trace,
Of our living potential,
Which beckons us,
To stay ever mindful,
Of going, growing and glowing,
With the flow of life,
In every movement,
Of its ever increasing . . .
Endless expanse!
Janet Rice Carnahan comes from a large family on the California coast. Growing up in Santa Cruz, she spent a lifetime of family summers at Lake Tahoe! Water’s fluid beauty reflects the dancing music for her muse. Janet’s love of water is her life! After a twenty year career in Early Childhood Education, culminating in owning and creating the first privately run nationally accredited preschool in Nevada, Janet’s love of writing expanded beyond the days of reading Dr. Seuss to her two children, Courtney, now a married social worker in Denver, Colorado and Scott, a recent graduate of Brooks Film Institute, living in LA. The study of human nature continues to fascinate Janet after receiving three college degrees in related fields of study. Her poems have now been published in “Prompted: An International Collection of Poems” and in “Pyrokinection”, an online poetry site. Currently living in Laguna Beach, California with husband, Bruce, a retired physicist, Janet continues to blend her poetry and photography with a deep love of the ocean. Creating a harmonious life touching nature . . . an endless source of joy!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Two Poems from Jeanpaul Ferro

The River That Runs Away From Paradise

In the green afterlife of twilight,
only seconds after you left the bar of drunken soldiers,
twelve hours after you buried your greatest loss,
buried it within the jungle, set it ablaze in leftover scraps
of funeral pyre,

the sky shuts you off from the sun, entrenches you in a darkness
that is right, the leopards watching you from their branches,

escape; where is this? death enters; it brings comfort only from the
furthest place from home, East of Eden, that desolate place of
nowhere, that place where men and woman have no names.

You dream big now, dream like you should have dreamt all along,
in the steps of Marco Polo, down to a hero’s journey, to a place you
have never seen before—Caño Cristales, the most beautiful river
in the world, the river of five colors, a place you can be no one and
nowhere at once, a place that is only recorded in the secret Atlas
of the World, the one every Mason hides on their person.

Five days later … you are lost somewhere inside of Columbia, traveling
down a dirt and pot-hole filled road, a road going through parts of
Serrania de la Macarena that only the guerrilla forces have traveled

The Earth stands still; you see a billboard ominously posted along
the way:

The war is over. … There is another life now.

Noon comes under pale blue skies; soon you can hear the river,
its cries softly out to you, like a child wailing lost far from home,
you begin to sob because it is this dream you have been drinking
just to get you along.

Your steps are slow now as you approach the river from its sand
banks, sweat dripping off of you. 

A riverbed stretches out in front of you into sempiternity; yes, it is
finally right there for you:

cascades traveling atop the autumn foliage of another planet,
twenty-seven different shades of the green of Columbia shifting back
and forth—verde, esmeralda, aceituna, savia, arma; stark magenta
waterfalls, intense craters of blood-red and notoriety, cells of rainbow
floating downriver into the arched shade of the trees, yellow sand as it
sparkles under the late afternoon sun.

You stand there in disbelief. And you believe in God for that moment.
And for another lonely moment caught in experiment, a moment you
wished would have never come, you actually dream that it was the
moment before.

The Catatumbo Storm

The trade winds blow in quixotic
from the Caribbean,
warm and mist-like through the bamboo
into the Maracaibo basin,
atoms and molecules colliding through
the mountainous air along the lake and lagoons,
a night full of stars, blue and celestial;

and then it begins, almost on que,
the Relampago del Catatumbo
a lightning storm that has raged
every night for a thousand years,

people gather ‘round the river banks
as the sky begins to open up;
hands point upward; pink beacons
of ice crystals cast their glimmering
nets from cloud to cloud,
oh’s and ah’s rising out of the mouths
of the natives who have witnessed this
a thousand times before,

and then all these dark skinned children begin to
point skyward, pointing like messengers toward
the center stage of our darkened world while all
these downward, falling spirals illuminate the night
in platinum, gold, and a crystalline white,

every bolt crashing against the dark surface of Earth,

as though they are all the lost children who have been
betrayed by this insufferable world.

Jéanpaul Ferro is a novelist, short fiction author, and poet from Providence, Rhode Island. An 8-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Jéanpaul’s work has appeared on NPR, Contemporary American Voices, Columbia Review, Emerson Review, Connecticut Review, Portland Monthly, and others. He is the author of All The Good Promises (Plowman Press, 1994), Becoming X (BlazeVox Books, 2008), You Know Too Much About Flying Saucers (Thumbscrew Press, 2009), Hemispheres (Maverick Duck Press, 2009) Essendo Morti – Being Dead (Goldfish Press, 2009), nominated for the 2010 Griffin Prize in Poetry; and Jazz (Honest Publishing, 2011) nominated for both the 2012 Griffin Prize in Poetry and the 2012 Kingsley Tufts Prize in Poetry. He is represented by the Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency. He currently lives along the south coast of southern Rhode Island . Website: * E-mail:

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Two Poems by Joe Massingham

Autumn leaves

Clouds weaving their way through bare branches
of autumnal trees, knitting blankets
to protect themselves from winter’s chills.

The first frosty morning and
magpies are suddenly urgent,
carolling, ordering breakfast.

The sun shines brilliant icy needles
On my face. Winter’s on its way
And I must speed my journeying.

Acadia, late Autumn

Wind runs its fingers through
the seafrets greying hair.
Hawthorns polish berries
ever brighter, small lamps
to lighten lowering skies.
Winter looks out the cloths
it uses to polish
lakes’shining surfaces.
Deer grind the hardening
grass between their teeth,
storing starch to help them
through the coming time of
death and darkness. Only
the trilling voices of
choirboy robins offer
any indication of
future Resurrection.

Joe Massingham was born in the UK but has lived the second half of his life in Australia .
Major employment has been as a Navy officer, university student from first degree to PhD, tutor, lecturer and Master of Wright College, University of New England , NSW.
He has run his own writing and editing business but retired early because of cancer and heart problems and now spends time waiting to see medical practitioners, writing poetry and prose and smelling the roses.
He has had work published in Australia , Eire , India , NZ , UK , and USA .

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Poem by Patrick Lawrence O'Keeffe


                                              Blue Knothole

A plug of wood fallen into shuttered plant
invites a sudden ray of sun to pierce
the dark. On hulk of old machinery gutted
and strewn about the floor oxidation
leaps to bright orange—dazzles with unexpected
splendor a pale moth who ‘round and ‘round fiery rust
stirs with her dance the dust of old factory bones.

From loading pit—now heaped with trash—we shipped
five hundred tons a month in fabricated pipe—
steam lines for office tower or paper mill
whose manhole lids whisper through Winter still
in Millinocket or Saint Paul—or barracks at Fort Drum.
Next to stacked and banded flat-beds at the dock
we would take our lunches on concrete edge
legs dangling in space. Remember? A white pigeon
in flight rafter-to-rafter crapped from on high
just as Al unwrapped his liverwurst on rye.
Cuss words laced our syllables of laughter.

Earth turns. Sun pared to sharpened pencil point
winks out. Shadows return with creak and clank
and lost voices merge into echo ever receding.
Moth risen up—flutter of wing—teases
a blue knothole opening out to the sky.

Patrick Lawrence O’Keeffe is a poet and freelance writer. Raised on a Pennsylvania dairy farm, he resides in Port Clinton, Ohio, with his wife Karen. Published materials include humorous Op-Ed essays in the South Bend (Indiana) Tribune, book reviews in the Morrow County (Ohio) Sentinel, poems in the Blue Lake Review and Erie Wire, and self-published works of poetry and fiction. When he is not machining crankshafts on the evening shift, he scribbles verse and stories in a red pocket notebook. A participant in the Firelands Writing Center, he reads his poems at Mr. Smith’s Coffee House in Sandusky, Ohio.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Poem by Jesi Bender

Faith at Sea

Prostrate proselytizing
Idle carelessness when and
If I open my mouth

A symphony of linear ineptitude but
You’ll understand all the letters (I hope)
that come out of my mouth sweating
Counterpoints preternatural divinations

Apostrophes - A one-way fire some cities drink
Its where you are, where are you?
A tear torn from the eye,
To feel this again.

To my hand, it is a jellyfish
Soft, sick and pink
A salty tongue of many flavors.

Jesi Bender is a poet living in Manhattan's East Village. After graduating from Cornell University, she moved to New York to further her artistic growth and to pursue her Masters in Library and Information Science at Pratt Institute. Examples of her work and her bibliography can be seen on her website -

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Poem by Joe Amaral

Echoes of Broken Shells
My restlessness is a leaf
on a windblown branch
barely hanging on for life
I flutter aground
Stare into the cotton strewn
mist over damp sand blocking
the sea. On a park bench
zoned out sits a middle aged
pedophile-looking man. I do
not wish to end up like him
Idle, aimlessly glazed on the
Pacific ocean waves with his
paunch, long coat, dark shades
Likely heading for the public
restroom to masturbate furiously
to some lost form of female
conquest in his departed past. I
am not he, but we are both alone
Feet unconsciously seek out
quicksand, find none, just a
suckling echo as sand dollars
vomit ashore, their perfectly etched
symbols exuding an old fashioned
world now only heard in dead conches
I wander by inlanders with their blue
jeans rolled up, running away from
the ruinous tide when it kisses their
chubby ankles as if it was some
predator about to rip them apart
The old ladies and their small dogs,
the diseased handicap placard army
And the cameras and the poses and the
screaming kids with their pails and shovels
I am not like anybody
They are human reality
There is a hero in this story but
he tragically dies in the end
I remain
Joe Amaral is a paramedic who spends most his time spelunking around the California central coast, though he is an OG raised in the San Francisco East Bay Area. His poetry and short stories have appeared in many literary journals and print anthologies, including A Handful of Dust,, Carcinogenic Poetry, Certain Circuits, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Eclectic Flash, RED OCHRE LiT, and Underground Voices. He also has pieces published internationally via Decanto Magazine, DIOGEN, Litro, and Taj Mahal Review.

Friday, June 22, 2012

A Poem by Susan Dale

Mother Moon And I

Conceived in the swollen rivers
      Of the milky way
I am one with mother moon
      Waxing, waning
Wandering with her
Amongst the seamless heavens
           Here tonight
      Tomorrow there
Following her alabaster lights
She, bending the space of time
        And I, with space
        Falling into time
The moon, hand-maiden to the sun
                And I,
Slave to the throbbing pulse of earth

      Mother moon and daughter
      Spiral with trillions of stars
            And angel’ wings
          Deep into creation

Susan’s poems and fiction are on Eastown Fiction, Tryst 3, Word Salad, Pens On Fire, Ken *Again, Hackwriters, and Penwood Review. In 2007, she won the grand prize for poetry from Oneswan.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Poem by Steve Klepetar

Burning Nails

             “Now I wish I could write you a melody so plain
That could hold you, dear lady, from going insane”
                                                          Bob Dylan

Two in the bush, that disaster of fluttering
wings, those small hearts heaped on a plate
those dead notes loose in windless trees

the ocean’s other mouth. She watches
through white capped waves, for sailors
their green hair pulled back rough in a scaly

undertow of driftwood and claws.
We are the orifice of fire and smoke and song
rhythm of waves and lust in the blood. We kiss

and we eat. We are owls. Our moaning
batters your ears, we have pushed past barriers
of melody’s golden weave, we are throats and tongues

deadly magic licking flames, timbers and burning nails.

Steve Klepetar teaches literature and creative writing at Saint Cloud State University in Minnesota. His work has received several nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Flutter Press has recently published his latest chapbook "My Father Teaches Me a Magic Word"

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Poem by Louis Marvin

The Great Bamboo Mountain Forest Hermit

“Without warning, the wizard walks by. . .”
                                                    Black Sabbath

The trees are alive like pets, and they wag their tails at the hermit

                                     as he walks by, on the pig trails
                                                       above the “gathering place”

                             and the former swamps of Waikiki

     he looks down upon mankind, rushing to their jobs and schools

               he holds his magic bamboo staff and listens to the winds

              the winds play acoustic music in the bamboo forest
                                                          of his home

he listens to the clicking of the magic brown/black bird
                           that acts as the ears and eyes of him

         he knows what each click and sound means

                   and the same can be said of the bamboo forest

       as it plays it’s wind driven drum solos for no one but him

                 the hermit walks and rests and walks

                         the hermit with the bamboo staff
                                     who lives in the bamboo forest

Born in Burbank, Raised (hell) Phoenix, Living/Loving in Hawaii
On this island with the Chinese girls, wandering the shores and mountains.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Poem by Angelica Joy

Snow Bunting

it is negative degrees out,
as I, a freezing drop of cloud,
dance downward.
supersaturated air fashioning my
circular six arms
forming a symmetry similar to my mother's.

I saw her flying,
an elegant bird, with wings
of painted brown
piercing eyes, contrasting with
the white background

she chased the clouds,
as I chased gravity.

I thought you'd catch me

but the brittle ice crystals of my body
began to melt quicker
than I could miss you

Angelica Joy is a writer and student. She has been published in The Laconic and Junto. She is currently working her way through college in the pursuit of an English degree.

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Poem by Kanchan Chatterjee

I'm on my way
I'm on my way
to meet you
seeing in
my mind
the things...
polar caps melting away...
music being played
on empty streets...
a bigger,
brighter moon
I smile
to myself
as I take
Kanchan Chatterjee is a 44 year old male executive working in the finance department of government of India. Although he does not have a literary background, he loves poetry and scribbles as and when he gets time or inclination. Some of his poems have been published by Indian publishers, namely, and Indus Valley. A few of his poems have appeared in some e-magazine and journals from around the world such as hauntedwaterspress, Oddity etc.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Poem by Jacqueline Markowski

In Defense of the Abused

Nature is fat with poetry. There is
proof: a bud’s dying breath is tender
fruit, the leaves that don’t fall are
needles, man-made necessities are
buried miles within her, she forgets us
as quietly as she centers us, rudimentary limbs are
not completely without merit. Nature is
not a whore. She is waiting for someone special.

She is a witch doctor without a vacuum
or sterile instruments, just a gentle blood-
letting and then raw truth—

so real it can never have not happened.

Never speaking of guilt, she won’t repossess
our will, our pulsing organs—she knows
where we are and when… asking
only that we trust and tidy up
before we go. We are asymmetrical
beneath our skin, as imperfect as Northern Lights.

Jacqueline Markowski is a writer of poetry and short stories. She lives in Charlotte, NC where she divides her time between writing and being a homeschooling mother. Her poetry has appeared in Chronogram Magazine, Cochlea/The Neovictorian and Permafrost Literary Journal. She was awarded first place in poetry during the 2006 Sandhills Writers Conference. She is currently working on a compilation of short stories but who’s she kidding- she’ll never finish.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Poem by William Davies Jr.


The tree branches
Like capillaries
Beneath the lucent
Skin of dusk
Pour the new
Blood of Spring
Into the wineskin
Of April.

William Davies Jr. has recently published in The Cortland Review, The Wilderness House Review, and Blue Lyra Review.
He lives in rural Pennsylvania with his wife, Theresa, and they bottle their own wine.

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Poem by Dana Yost

The Three Bridges Trail
There are walks I will want to take
in my last days, and one will be the Three Bridges Trail.
Find someone to lead me, if I am frail, through
the narrow path, across the three stone bridges.
But I will see, hear, smell for myself.
It is almost primeval, the brush to my knees, even
my chest: the thick leaves turning day to night
almost as soon as we set foot on the dust and gravel.
It is like stepping beyond the curtain, into the Emerald City.
The birds flutter and sing and one says “pur-dee, pur-dee, pur-dee,”
in a branch over my head.
At other times, a stillness: no animals, the wind cut off
by the thickness of leaves: it is almost German forest, medieval.
Over there, the clearing: can’t you picture a dozen furied
swords and axes clanging and cleaving, unmerciless battle?
But, then, my imagination runs beyond reach of the reins.
Walk with me, in the green and the cool.
Walk with me, on the ledge of the stone
of the bridges:
the fall is not far, if it comes to that,
and the undergrowth will catch you,
soft. Blanket of a crib.
Walk with me, when those last few days are near,
and think with me not of what life might have been,
but what it was — what it is: as real as the doe
in deep staredown with us, as real as the aroma of juniper.
Did we matter? Did we lift the lives of others?
Did we love, did we give enough time to the stars,
did we dream — or was it all mad?
Look at the butterflies, the gem-green beetle.
I will walk here again, in my last days,
the Three Bridges Trail:
whatever deeds define my life,
I know finding this place
is one of the good.
Dana Yost is the author of two published books, 2008's Grace, a collection of new poems; and 2010's The Right Place, a collection of essays and poems. His third book, A Higher Level: Life's Large Lessons From a Small College on the Prairie, a regional history book, will come out this fall from Ellis Press. He was an award-winning daily newspaper editor for 29 years at papers in the Upper Midwest. His poetry has appeared in a variety of journals and magazines, including Stymie Magazine, Awakenings Review, Open Minds Quarterly, Relief, Turtle Quarterly, Red Booth Review, Bare Root Review, the Crusader, South Dakota Magazine, Time of Singing, and Wolf Head Quarterly. He lives in Forest City, Iowa.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Two Poems by Danielle Fessenbecker

Great Water
Your presence is like
great water
your wild charms
like waves crashing
burying my whole life.
And I can't tell where
I am but I am

as I wait

like a lost shell
for your arrival
staring toward sea,
scraping salt
off my tongue
beneath a dim-lit moon.
For Wind
The wind may settle
over the sea of our
hearts, but I keep
waiting for the hour
it will carry me
to you again.
The tide remembers
us, and I have faith in the
glimmer of the shore,
the dark secret
your soul carries
on the back of a wave:
that heavy yes, but
this is all it can be.
Danielle Fessenbecker is a recent college graduate from Alvernia University. She has had poetry published in The Puck Review, a handful of stones, decomP magazine, All Things Girl, and Metazen.